Good stuff from the Strib’s David Phelps on one of Minnesota’s (dysfunctional) first families. On the latest financial woes of Curt Carlson’s grandson, Phelps writes, “[H]e’s at the end of a legal tussle with Edina-based Crown Bank, which accuses Nelson of vastly overstating his net worth for a $3 million loan in 2008 and for a $1 million personal guarantee for a second-party loan in 2009. Crown Bank claims that Nelson offered an overinflated appraisal of a family coin collection to cover his obligations. The coins once belonged to his late grandfather, the legendary Curt Carlson — founder and embodiment of the Carlson hospitality and marketing conglomerate that still bears his name. The bank says Nelson produced the coins and an appraisal that said the collection was worth at least $2 million. When bank officials attempted to settle Nelson’s debts with the coins, they were told that the bank possessed ‘junk coins’ worth less than $40,000.” Moral to the story: Next time include the secret decoder rings and comic book collection.
Here’s your chance to see and hear Tim Pawlenty as he was meant to be heard … on a live stream from Iowa, talking to a “Christian conservative organization focused on social issues.” The Sioux City Journal tells its readers: “The Journal will stream live video from a speech tonight by former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is speaking at Dordt College at 7:30 p.m. as part of a series of lectures sponsored by the Family Leader … Each month, from Feb. 7 to Aug. 1, a nationally known political figure will visit three campus locations in a single day. At each stop, the national figure will be exposed to a roundtable of community leaders, followed by a pro-family lecture open to the public. The lectures will be delivered at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Pella Christian High School in Pella, and the University of Iowa in Iowa City. In subsequent months, the organization says former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and businessman and radio host Herman Cain have made commitments to participate.”
The march toward all-out warfare over redrawing congressional district boundaries continues. MPR’s Tom Scheck blogs: “Every 10 years, Minnesota’s Congressional boundaries have to be redrawn so there’s equal population in each Congressional district. And as I reported this morning, Minnesota’s delegation is keeping a close eye on how the process plays out in St. Paul. The U.S. Census Bureau has not released the population estimates for each district but you can see which districts will need to grow and which districts will shrink by looking at past population estimates. Each Congressional district has to have 662,990 people in it. If you look at the 2009 population estimates, you’ll get a good sense of the makeup of each district. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson has to pick up the most population followed by DFL Rep. Keith Ellison. GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann has to lose the most. Followed by GOP Rep. John Kline.”
That was some good shootin’, kids. The Park Rapids Enterprise says: “Ideal hunting weather during the opening weekend of Minnesota’s firearms deer season helped hunters harvest 207,000 deer during the 2010 season, according to Minnesota DNR officials. This year’s kill is an increase of almost seven percent from the 2009 harvest of 194,186 and is the 13th largest harvest on record. … Firearms hunters harvested 176,200 deer while archery and muzzleloader hunters harvested 21,500 and 9,300 deer, respectively. Archery hunters harvested four percent more deer in 2010. The muzzleloader kill increased 12 percent from 2009.”
Those Tron-like leotard things the dancers were wearing during the Black Eyed Peas halftime show last night? … Minnesota connection. Jennifer Stockinger of the Brainerd Dispatch says: “The lighted, silver hooded unitard costumes the dancers wore Sunday in the halftime show at the Super Bowl in Dallas, were made in Baxter. In fact one of the dancers who took the stage with the Black Eyes Peas [and] helped design the costumes was a 2007 Brainerd High School graduate. That was Ali Clough, who also is a designer for Just For Kix in Baxter. Ali and her mother, Cindy Clough, chief executive officer of Just For Kix, flew to Texas early last week to help Super Bowl choreography organizers with the costumes. Shortly after arrival, Ali was asked if she wanted to dance because there was one spot open. Ali jumped at the chance and rehearsed the dance during the week before the big game.” I wear the same thing league bowling every Thursday … just more lights.
The PiPress editorializes about Gov. Dayton’s education plans. Typically, the author(s) express no specific preferences other than for doing good. But after considering costs and deficits and such, the piece concludes by saying: “We’ll know more about the governor’s education obsession when he makes his State of the State speech on Wednesday, and when he releases his budget plan, scheduled for Feb. 15. We know this — some part of the education establishment will oppose every plan he comes up with, and the governor will have to fight for his vision and for the best interests of Minnesota students.”
Interesting piece by Dave Peters at MPR today on stimulus money for rural broadband being used in individualized speech therapy: “[A]bout 30 kids in several western Minnesota schools sit down at camera-equipped computers, put on headphones and launch into individual speech therapy lessons. Miles away, a therapist talks to them and shows them written words or phrases on their computers, then watches how they move their lips and tongues as they pronounce words. Because the therapist doesn’t have to travel, schedules are more flexible and school districts save money. … A lot of attention has been paid to the big stimulus-funded broadband projects under way to improve high-speed access to the Internet. Minnesota communities and companies are receiving more than $200 million for construction projects that will lay hundreds of miles of fiber optic cable. But in the meantime, money last month started flowing through a different kind of stimulus grant aimed at getting more Minnesotans to make better use of the access they have.”
Todd Richmond of the AP files a story on Cheesehead euphoria in Green Bay: “Area schools planned to release students after a half-day Monday to allow them to attend the parade. By 11 a.m. throngs of fans milled around the stadium’s atrium. People lined up for tours of the stadium, asked about tickets to Tuesday’s rally and grabbed lunch at Curly’s Pub, a restaurant at the stadium named for the Packers’ founder, Curly Lambeau. Some fans just stood in the parking lot and screamed to the sky. Others paraded around with a giant cardboard replica of the Lombardi trophy. By 11 a.m. the stadium’s pro shop was so packed with customers snatching up Super Bowl gear team that officials made shoppers stand in line to get in. Fans across the atrium shouted ‘Go Pack Go!’ ”
David Bauder of the AP writes that early numbers suggest Sunday’s Super Bowl was the most-watched ever: “The 2010 game between New Orleans and Indianapolis established itself as the most-watched program in U.S. television history, with 106.5 million viewers. Nielsen didn’t immediately have a viewership estimate for Sunday’s game. But in an overnight measurement of the nation’s 56 largest media markets, this year’s game had a 3 percent higher rating than last year’s. The game also had a 71 share — meaning that more than two-thirds of the televisions being watched in the country at that time were watching the Super Bowl on the Fox network.” So much for needing a New York/LA connection to every event.
She’s not getting the dog back. The low-wattage lady who tried to mail her dog to Atlanta was brushed off in court. Matt McKinney and Paul Walsh report for the Strib: “[Stacey] Champion  appeared at City Hall in hopes of reclaiming Guess, the 4-month-old Schnauzer-poodle mix that she put in a sealed box without food on Jan. 25. She said at the hearing, ‘I did my best with the procedures and everything.’ She said she had air holes in the box and that it held water bottles. Earlier, postal officials had said the box had air holes covered by packing tape and it contained no nourishment for the dog.”